Never Was Comic Strips – Captain Marvel/Mr. Tawny

Captain Marvel is in the movie theaters and Shazam is rolling out next month, so let’s take a look at a proposed Captain Marvel superhero comic strip that never made it into newspapers.

75 years ago the most popular comic book superhero was not Superman, it was the original Captain Marvel (now referred to as Shazam). That popularity prompted a couple of the (original) Captain Marvel comic book creators to take a shot at a newspaper comic strip version.

Here’s a few of the Rod Reed (Cisco Kid, Rusty Riley) and C. C. Beck (Capt. Tootsie, Captain Marvel comic strip.

Unfortunately, probably due to the copyright suit filed by DC Comics in 1940,
no syndicate wanted to take on Superman’s competition.

Sean Kleefeld has the story.


Sean also discusses the attempt, a few years later, to syndicate a comic strip starring a supporting character character from the (again, original) Captain Marvel comic book. In 1947 C. C. Beck, this time with Otto Binder (Our Ever Changing World), tried a Mr. Tawny, the Talking Tiger syndicated comic strip.

Years later C. C. Beck would say the syndicates considered the concept and art style old fashioned and rejected the submission.

Brian Cronin supplies more about Mr. Tawny and the comic strips.